TIPP CITY — During their work session, the Tipp City council returned to discussion of an ordinance amending the city’s electricity regulations.
At council’s Aug. 8 meeting, council let the ordinance die for lack of sponsorship following outcry from rental property owners over language that would require them to assume responsibility for a tenant’s unpaid and delinquent electric utility fees.
“Those items have been removed,” City Manager Tim Eggleston said.
Eggleston said city staff is looking into raising the deposits for utility customers to cover unpaid bills. He also suggested assessing unpaid bills to the property. According to city staff, the city has written off an average of $16,452 each year for utilities.
Council president Katelyn Berbach suggested turning over unpaid bills to a collection agency instead of requiring property owners to pay them.
“A perfect analogy is the cable. If you welsh on the cable, Spectrum/Time Warner is going to go after the person who used the service, not the landlord,” Mayor Joe Gibson said.
Rental property owners are already responsible for water, sewer and trash collection fees. A section of the city’s current code that says the property owner of record is responsible for the payment of electric bills. At a previous meeting, Finance Director John Green said that section has never been enforced.
Eggleston said staff will take a look at the language.
Other proposed amendments to the electricity regulations included the elimination of the certificate of occupancy and contribution by intervening owners requirements, changes to design standards, the addition of language regarding micro-wireless facilities, and changes in processes for electric extension.
Reach Cecilia Fox at email@example.com.